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How to Find and Buy Guatemalan Textiles

Guatemalan Textiles

It was love at first sight.

The talented women of Guatemala’s indigenous communities simply wove their way into my heart. The brightly colored huipil they wore in daring combinations– which somehow just worked for them– and the endless variety available for sale called to me like a moth to a flame.

Surely in another universe I ended up blowing my entire budget right there in the marketplace.

And yet, in this reality at least, I remained strong and ended up with a few fabulous items that will be used often and cherished for years.

Here are some tips to shopping for Guatemala’s exquisite textiles…

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The Truth About Semuc Champey by Leanne Fry

We’ve just arrived in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

It’s taken us an entire day to get here and I’m surviving on a yoghurt drink I inhaled this morning at a petrol pit stop to refuel our ‘luxury shuttle bus’. The inaptly named luxury shuttle bus had conjured up ideas of reclining chairs and champagne, but is really a 14 seater mini-van packed with 17 sweaty travelers. The air con is MIA and the engine block is melting my feet alongside my spirit.

Alas, we have made it. My two friends and I are delighted to evacuate the hot box and stretch our legs.

Our plan?

Study Spanish and explore the town.

But there’s a slight problem and the sweet smell of deviation is in the air…

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My Unnerving Journey to the Copan Ruinas in Honduras…

Copan Ruinas

Eyes bugged out of heads and jaws (literally) dropped upon news I was traveling to Honduras. Completely alone.

It’s so dangerous!

Why would you go there?!

Get out of there as fast as you can.

As it turns out, I had planned to enter San Pedro Sula Airport and then take a bus directly to Copan Ruinas, my ultimate destination. I’m not one too freak out too much about traveling, having flown since I’ve was a toddler, but as a sole female traveler, the numerous warnings about San Pedro Sula were slightly unnerving.

Thankfully, everything turned out fine: I landed, went to the Herman Alas bus counter inside the miniscule airport and picked up my online, prepaid ticket. A half hour later, I was on an air-conditioned bus with free water bottles to Copan Ruinas, or so I thought…

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Guat’s Up? by Marlayna Glynn Brown

The man arranged by my hotel to meet me outside the Guatemala City airport and transport me to Antigua is holding a sign with my name.

I don’t ordinarily arrange for niceties such as this, but it seemed when entering a new country at night it would be best to be safe and not hassle negotiating with taxi drivers outside a foreign airport. It’s been a long day passing through three airports in three countries, customs in two countries, and carrying two too-heavy backpacks down long airport passageways to get from one gate to another.

I’m exhausted.

When he extends his hand to shake mine, I am so tired I hand him one of my backpacks and he says, “Sure, I’ll take that for you.”

Expectations are funny little things.

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What To Do With 36 Hours In Panajachel, Guatemala…

It’s already been said that Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

Three stately volcanoes stand as sentinels on her shores. Opposite these majestic watchman, nestled in the valley of two towering peaks, is the vibrant, urban area of Panajachel.

Panajachel has been my home for the past year, a destination my husband and I planned to visit only shortly along our Alaska to Argentina road trip, but she seduced us with her charms, and we’re still here 12 months later.

But Pana (as it’s called by the foreigners) isn’t for everyone…

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